If you've been one of the roughly 1 million visitors per year who has tried to park at Muir Woods, you know you have to get up earlier than the wildlife to cop a spot.
Things have gotten to the point where the National Park Service is planning to institute a reservation system, for both parking and a shuttle bus that takes you to the national monument. Weekend and holiday shuttle service from stops in Sausalito and Marin City have been in place since 2005.
The NPS says the new system will take effect within two years, when visitors will need a reservation for a parking space or seat on a shuttle bus.
"This will greatly reduce the peak traffic and congestion that is currently experienced with no means in place to moderate the number of vehicles on the roads to Muir Woods," the NPS wrote in an email.
The plan won't put any cap on the number of visitors to Muir Woods; you'll still be able to walk or bike in at will. But the reservation system will result in fewer visitors, the NPS said. The service projected that without the reservation system, between 6,000 and 7,000 people would visit Muir Woods each day in 2017. The new system will cut that number to between 4,000 and 5,000, NPS says.